Archive for May 7th, 2009

shoesSince I have been writing on the subject of Woolf clothing and accessories lately, here comes another addition to the author’s imaginary wardrobe. This time, it is shoes.

But these are not just any shoes. These are shoes with artistic value. These are shoes with meaning.

I found this information online a few days ago, and now it has reappeared via the VWoolf Listserv. Rather than wait for the third time to be the charm, I decided to blog about these shoes on the second sighting.

The shoes are ceramic, and they are one of 10 pairs created by West Footscray artist Rowena Hannan for the “She Who Explores” exhibition at Deakin University in Australia until May 23.

The pair created in Woolf’s honor detail her relationship with husband Leonard and lover Vita Sackville-West. The sole of each shoe features the beginning and ending of letters.

Poignantly enough, Woolf’s shoes are filled with small porcelain stones, reminders of the stones she slipped into her coat pockets before drowning in the River Ouse. There is something quite sad and lonely about the way these shoes sit side by side, looking as empty and worn as Woolf may have felt before she headed across the Sussex Downs on her last walk.

“It’s about dialogue, essentially between lovers or people that are intimate,” Hannan is quoted as saying in the Footscray, Yarraville, Braybrook Star. “The shoes are supposed to be about the letter, or the dialogue, that’s between the beginning and the ending enscripted on the bottom of the shoes. The shoes reflect their relationship and who they are as people. It was a lot more about research than anything else. If you dig deep enough, you find out some amazing things about people.”

Deakin University’s Web site describes Hannan as using “porcelain to transform mundane objects into repositories full of suggestion and evocation.”

For more, download the exhibition program.

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